Safari Sunday

This week I’ll be using photos taken at Clumber Park in North Nottinghamshire last weekend; I wanted to arrive nice and early to avoid the crowds (screaming kids, mainly) as it promised to be a lovely, warm, sunny day. I also had to take it easy after having a heavy piece of wood fall on my foot on the Wednesday (I’m still unable to wear socks or shoes that cover my foot. Thankfully most shoes I own are the ballerina pump style).

First stop was a cuppa and some breakfast… here the birds are very used to stealing crumbs from people, and come ridiculously close!

As always, I have to take a photo of the Chapel and the lake…Thankfully it was still relatively quiet at this point so the photos have few people around. I also took along with me my old Polaroid Sx-70 land camera, so spent most of my time taking photos with an old skool camera and let Pete take the digital shots.

Clumber Chapel and Lake View

There’s always Geese and Ducks at Clumber, so far actually there doesn’t seem to be as many Canada Geese as normal. However, those that were there argued a lot. There were Ducks chasing, Canada Geese chasing and Coots outright fighting on the water.

Geese of Clumber

Something else Clumber has plenty of… Chaffinches… Sadly the Chaffinches also seem to be rife with that nasty disease that’s going round and causes growth on the legs, and sometimes growth on the rest of the body in other species, especially the head.

Chaffinches

Facing, this Great Tit didn’t seem to look ill, but with its head to the side loss of feathers can be seen; it might be due to the same disease the Chaffinches have, or it could be a mite.
This lovely, seemingly healthy male Chaffinch is also clearly suffering from the leg disease.

Great Tit and Chaffinch

Mrs Blackbird was caught sunbathing and preening in a little secluded spot.

Sunbathing Blackbird

No sign of the Marsh Tits this time, so I had to make do with this Coal Tit instead. They were actually probably the friendliest of the Tits and would come the closest to get Peanuts off us.

Coal Tit


No matter how much we attempted to stalk the Robins, we just couldn’t get very close… and no close shots of my favourite bird, the Nuthatches this time.

Robin, Nuthatch, Ladybird, Blue Tit and Peacock Butterfly

As graceful as Swans are; they scare me. Probably because I know how strong and aggressive they can be when young are around… Of course we need an obligatory shot of a Duck dabbling.

Mute Swan and Mallard

Jackdaws are actually quite uncommon round here; and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen one! I remember seeing plenty when we went on holiday to Scotland as a child… I love Wagtails, but they never visit my garden. And finally a Stock Dove, not a pigeon!

Mallards, Great Tit, Jackdaws, Pied Wagtail and Stock Dove

The Squirrels were out in force, and at times of year if you’re scared of Squirrels you’re best avoiding the gardens because there can be many, many Squirrels roaming around. At our peak we had 9 surrounding us, plus the Mallards and small birds (and Pigeons). They’re not as friendly as those in Hyde Park (London) which will actually jump on your body for food, but they’re close enough. One; my friendly Squirrel was close enough to pick nuts up that bounced under the front of my shoes. Whenever it’d finished eating its nut, it’d look up at me asking for more 🙂

Grey Squirrel

Here’s the friendly little guy.

My Friendly Squirrel

Of course being surrounded by so much wildlife caused small audiences all trying to get photos… that is until it became too busy, or rather too many children were around. And like me, the animals were soon to disperse once the kids arrived (well, I had to go visit my parents and steal Forget-me-nots off them, but it was a good time to leave anyway once the peace is broken).

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

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12 thoughts on “Safari Sunday

  1. What wonderful wildlife shots, especially of the birds which never seem to sit still for me! Thanks for sharing your trip, it’s forget me not time here too, lots of areas looking very blue at the moment.

    • Hi Pauline,

      I had to rifle through a few hundred shots to get any of the birds. Generally it’s pot luck whether they’re any good, whether the bird stays still for those two seconds it takes to get a few shots off.
      For a while I was worried I’d have no white F-M-Ns, but as it turns out I have two… and a pink one! Never had any pink before, so it’s mutated itself. I know it’s not uncommon for pink ones, but it was quite a surprise to see.

  2. Hi Liz! I did not understand you had your foot injured so seriously the other time. But I couldn’t help smiling when I figured you jumping and pirouetting like a ballerina surrounded by hungry squirrels… I bet your shoes didn’t have chalk toes, though.
    I love the pictures and the squirrel story in particular. I’ve also checked on Google Maps this beautiful park and found out you can make a virtual tour too. I imagined you lived much closer to London though, don’t know why.

    • Hi Alberto,

      I wouldn’t say my foot is serious as such, as it’s the top of the foot but I do suspect I’ve broken one of the small bones in the top. I haven’t bothered going to accident and emergency or minor injuries because there’s nothing they can do for such an injury – it’s not like they’ll put a cast on. But I’ve been unable to wear socks for weeks now and can’t have anything touching the top. It was swollen, and had quite nasty bruising on it. I can walk fine now – at first I struggled a little. Anyway, I’ve managed to bruise it again, this time a wooden picture frame fell on it! Haha, it wasn’t even heavy but because it’s already injured, it’s bruised up again and swollen a little.

      Nah, I live around 2hrs by train from London – remember, England really isn’t very big! I’m no fan of the ‘big smoke’ so don’t often visit, however Pete is from London, so this might be why you thought I was closer. I used to visit every month or two, but over the past 5-10 years I’ve only been down a handful of times.

  3. Fabulous photos Liz, sad to see the birds affected by the virus though. I know grey squirrels are vermin, and I miss our red squirrels, but they are cute… Look forward to seeing your forget-me-nots in situ, I need to move some of mine around, spread the joy a bit!

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